As a mum, the requirement to learn first aid became ever more important to me, when I had this beautiful bundle that was my responsibility to keep safe! Would I know what to do if she was choking or burned her hand on something, or god forbid, needed CPR, and at the beginning, I was ashamed to say no! When Sienna was a few months old, and I was just starting my business, I decided to change that and enrolled in a local course run by a mum and baby group.
It was primarily focused on first aid for children, how to deal with everyday scrapes and cuts, and then what to do in an emergency. We learned how to deal with burns, what to look out for with Meningitis and Sepsis, and how to administer CPR should it be required. Plus a whole host of other useful things.
Now thankfully, neither in my business or at home have I needed to deal with anything more than a scraped knee, or bump on the head with Sienna, and I hope it stays that way. However, in September on a normal day at home, my instinct kicked in, and I knew something was wrong. This time, not with my daughter, but with my dad. He’d been staying with us doing some alterations to our house. It was a normal busy morning and we were getting ready to leave for school when my dad walked into the kitchen with a very strange expression. He looked blank and confused. I asked him what was wrong, and he didn’t answer me. Men! I thought. So I asked him again, (all whilst trying to sort Sienna’s breakfast and get her book bag in order), and still no answer. I lifted my eyes and looked at him again, and he walked out into the hallway. I was super confused, and he came back in with a pen and paper and wrote ‘I can’t speak’. It was then that I looked at his face, and the TV advert popped into my mind as clear as day.
F. A. S. T.
Face – Has their face drooped on one side
Arms – Can they lift their arms above their head
Speech – Has their speech slurred or are they having difficulty speaking
Time – You need to act quickly
I suspected immediately that my dad had had a stroke. Instead of panicking, I asked him to put his arms in the air, which he could do, and he could understand what I was saying, just couldn’t respond. I shared my suspicions with him but kept it low key as I could have been wrong and didn’t want to frighten him. I called 999 and explained the situation. Within a few minutes, the amazing paramedics were here, and had taken him to the John Radcliffe Hospital! And thank god, he made a full recovery. I was so thankful that I recognised the signs. And it prompted me to refresh my first aid knowledge.
A few weeks later Rachel Moffatt, founder of Ladybird First Aid, and mum to two kiddos herself joined me at my studio to host a first aid workshop for a dozen mummies.
Fully qualified in both adult and paediatric first aid, she spent a few fun, but serious hours talking us through the latest advice, and how to address situations that might arise.
She was fantastic and extremely knowledgeable, and every mum (plus one very brave dad) that attended said how glad they were that they had taken part.
Could You Save A Life?
I quickly realised that all of this was very well, should anything happen to Sienna or my husband, but if something were to happen to me, I’m basically stuffed! Would Mark know what to do? No! So I thought I’d better rectify that! Now the chances of getting him to attend a first aid course are slim, so I thought the next best thing is to have that information on hand at home.
The St John Ambulance website has some fabulous posters that you can download and print out to put on the fridge, or keep in the first aid cabinet.
Did you know that the likelihood of you bringing someone around when giving them CPR is quite low, but just by keeping the blood flowing to their brain and heart, will keep their brain alive, and may just be enough to save their life until the ambulance arrives and the paramedics can take over.
We’ve all seen way too many movies where someone gets ‘The Kiss Of Life’ or CPR and 10 seconds later, they’re up, awake and ready to go again! And that simply isn’t how it works.
The following video by the British Heart Foundation is super simple to follow and gives you a clear idea of what to do and what to expect when performing CPR. It’s quite a long video and assumes you are training along with them, but the advice they give you is clear and concise and will help massively should you ever be faced with that situation.
Things to Know
We all hope that in our lifetime we never have to deal with anything more than a tummy bug and the odd cut and bruise (usually after going all Gordon Ramsay and trying to cut onions at the speed of sound), but just in case, here are list of things you should be able to deal with, or know the symptoms for, especially if you have kids in the house, and links of where to get information on how to treat them (NB: all information supplied by the NHS website):
Obviously, this is not a full list of everything, but its a great place to start. However, if you have the time, book yourself on to a First Aid course near you. I can highly recommend Rachel at Ladybird First Aid, she runs some fabulous classes and makes it a really easy learning experience. Or The Red Cross runs courses all over the country, check out their website here for more info, or ask around your local Facebook groups. You never know when you might need it, and it might just be enough to save someone’s life!